Sir Arthur Champernon MP - WILLIAM CHAPMAN 1540

Started by Barbara Newport on Monday, May 27, 2013


Profiles Mentioned:

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5/27/2013 at 11:22 AM

If William Chapman is Arthur's son, why does he have a different surname? His mother was Mary Norreys, but she had him before either of her marriages.

My question is:- who is the father of William Chapman 1540?

5/27/2013 at 2:43 PM

Probably just bad genealogy. Get a curator to cut him from these parents.

Private User
7/28/2013 at 10:23 PM

could he have been adopted, or related there are other chapman's on the tree

7/28/2013 at 11:19 PM

Hi John

It's great you're researching this, I hope you assist in working on the tree?

I've cut the parent connection, I dont think it's correct, and would just obscure building a better tree.

This what I see so far:, Wikipiedia, & Findagrave quotes Burke's here:

"Chapman's father, William, and uncle, John, had been supported by their maternal first cousin, Sir Walter Raleigh, who helped them procure land grants in the County Kerry. Due to financial troubles and their patron Raleigh's death in 1618, they were forced to sell the land to Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, for £26,400. Benjamin was William's only son."

A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of ..., Volume 1 By John Burke, page 228

So the father of John & William was not known to Burke, but there is a connection to Sir Walter Ralegh's family.

Private User
7/29/2013 at 2:13 PM

i just started to poke around with this just out of curiosity, always thought family was from England, was a bit suprized to see Ireland,

7/29/2013 at 2:47 PM

John I'm thinking there are a couple of Chapman families. The "Irish" family actually originates in Leicestershire, but the Jamestown VA family originated in London. Can you link the Geni profile for the "oldest ancestor you know?" I'm trying some cleanup & sourcing.

7/29/2013 at 9:10 PM

Barbara Newport & Private User

I need some help here (other opinions helpful too)

I have no idea how to reflect parents on this Geni profile:

John Chapman, Sr.

Links / sources referenced within the profile "overview"

One of the links has the reference to an EARLIER "Arthur Champernowne, ca mid 1500's" - perhaps why the link this discussion started with.

There are a lot of Chapman's!

11/11/2016 at 6:53 AM

The Champernownes came to Devon from Normandy. Their ancestors were Vikings and were associated with Rollo. The bottom line is that anyone descended from this group should have DNA from the IM-253 haplogroup, not a haplogroup that originates from the British Isles. There is a tiny segment of the Chapman DNA study that has IM-253 DNA. It is interesting that the Chapman family in Barbados in the 1600's acquired their property because of their relationship to the Earl of Carlisle. The Earl married the granddaughter of a Champernowne. My ancestors apparently came to VA from Barbados with enough change in their pockets to buy tobacco plantations in the 1700 time frame. The oldest will I have seen us from my John Chapman who died in 1743 as an attorney and the owner of plantations which he passed to his sons. Maybe it is a coincidence, but the DNA match causes one to question whether the name was simply changed upon moving to the new world. Maybe they wanted to make a name for themselves and not live off the family name.

11/12/2016 at 3:24 PM

... I have followed my Father's family of Chapmans right back to Sir Arthur Champernoun. William Chapman's ( b1540 - 1615)) mother was Mary Norreys (1526-1570), Sir Arthur's wife. William was born before either of her 2 marriages, but it was Arthur who raised William. Arthur Champernoune was brother to Katherine Champernoune (1519 - 1594); she was mother to Walter Raleith (1552- 1618) by her 2nd marriage. Katherine's 1st marriage was to Otto Gilbert (1513-1547), and their son was Sir Humphrey Gilbert (1539-1583). Although William Chapman was raised by Arthur Champernoune as a step son, it is my belief his father was from a family of Chapmans from Leicestershire. Sadly I have been unable to identify or find evidence for this.

11/13/2016 at 10:29 AM

I have found no primary source documentation to support a William as a son of Sir Arthur Champernowne. Most likely William or whoever was the ancestor of that branch was a grandchild of Sir Arthur and the name change came as his grandchildren left the nest of Devon and went to the new world with a new name.

Given Sir Walter Raleigh's losing his head, I could understand why some of his relatives would not like to attract attention to themselves by retaining the Champernowne name.

I look forward to some Champernownes from a couple of different lines becoming involved in the Chapman yDNA study. That would put the question to rest. I am one of the Chapman's with DNA in the IM-253 haplogroup which is consistent with the Champernowne Norman roots.

11/13/2016 at 1:24 PM

It is not exactly likely that either of Mary Norreys's two husbands would have married her if she had an illegitimate son hanging around, or that if they did, and treated that son as a stepson, that no-one would have commented. Nor is it likely that a Champernowne would change his name because one of their family had married Sir Walter Raleigh. In terms of land-holdings and political consequence the Champernownes were far bigger fish than the Raleighs (in the late seventeenth century one of the Champernownes felt insulted by William III offering him a barony, because he considered himself the rightful earl of Devon).

Go back to Burke, and try and work out the Raleigh connection from there. (And it may not exist; Burke like anyone else sometimes gets it wrong)


11/14/2016 at 5:02 AM

The peak time for the Champernownes was under the reign of Queen Elizabeth. As you know, in 1603 James, son of Mary Queen of Scots, became King of England. Many heads rolled because of a prior relationship with Queen Elizabeth. James had no love for those once loyal to Queen Elizabeth. Changing a name could have been for political or for personal reasons. Whatever the reason, their money and influence followed them.

It seems quite a coincidence that this one Chapman family who came to Barbados and Virginia was so personally wealthy and happen to be the only Chapman line in the US which has yDNA originating in the pre-England, pre-Normandy home of the Champernownes. The yDNA of this group of Chapmans is IM-253, which happens to be the same as Rollo, who initially brought the Champernowne men to positions of power. That leads one to believe that Rollo and the Champernownes, or whatever they called themselves at that time, share a common male ancestor.

11/14/2016 at 5:13 AM

This 1895 document is a valuable resource on Devon families for this period. Champernownes start on page 160.

11/14/2016 at 1:56 PM

I have disconnected William Chapman from Sir Arthur Champernon MP & Mary Champernowne, of Dartington

I've checked the Champernowne pedigree (Vivian's version) and Sir Arthur Champernowne's will. No mention of a stepson named William Chapman.

Will be happy to reconnect if some finds primary documentation to prove that he was an illegitimate son of Mary.

11/15/2016 at 5:28 AM

Thanks for disconnecting this William. I had him disconnected from the wikitree Champernownes almost a year ago. it is totally illogical for him to be there. I wish someone would construct a tree for Arthur's grandchildren and show where their descendants went. I also wish someone could find living, breathing Champernownes willing to participate in a yDNA study. yDNA is not subjective. The fact that a small group of American Chapmans have the same yDNA as Rollo and Rollo brought the Champernownes into power is not a fact to be ignored. It is also hard to imagine that a Chapman family could be related to Rollo as proven by DNA, be a part of the Norman conquest, and yet manage to remain incognito for hundreds of years and then end up in Barbados and Virginia. I find it easier to believe there is one Chapman named Thomas, with Champernowne ancestry, who was in Barbados in 1638 on land he acquired through his relative, the Earl of Carlisle, according to records of the family greathouse of Sunbury in Barbados. Interestingly, if you research the Earl's wife Honoria's ancestry, you will find a lady named Champernowne. Coincidence? Possibly

11/15/2016 at 2:39 PM

The two living male Champernowne's I know about don't qualify as they are descendants of Jane Harington, the sole-heiress of Arthur Champernowne, of Dartington, who married Rev. Richard Harington, who in accordance with the terms of inheritance, changed his family name by royal licence to Champernowne.

11/17/2016 at 4:44 AM


Do you know if one of the two men to which you refer above is the Arthur Champernowne who currently resides in Seattle, WA, USA? I was considering reaching out to him regarding a potential DNA test, but if he does not carry the Champernowne male DNA I did not want to contact him. The two links below tell you all I know about him and his wife.

11/19/2016 at 12:41 PM

Gary, I think they both live in the UK.

11/19/2016 at 12:48 PM

Correction, yes, Arthur is one of them.

11/20/2016 at 5:23 AM

My research has led me to believe that there were Champernownes scattered from Ilfracombe to Modbury, Devon, and beyond. Arthur was just one of many Champernownes alive in the 1500's. Is anyone aware of any DNA research being done by any branch of the Champernownes?

11/23/2016 at 3:52 AM


You can find the Champernownes at Vivian's Visitations of Devon,

pp 160-165.

It's a bit over 100 years old, but Vivian is very good, and other genealogists had already put in a lot of work on the Champernownes. For some other families in Devon his Visitations show some signs of hurry to get published before he died, but the Champernownes are not among them. A new genealogical discovery from documentary sources would be a big surprise. DNA is of course another matter.


11/24/2016 at 7:19 AM

We are definitely on the same page. Vivian's was one of my sources. Click on the document I referenced above on 11/14/2016 at 8:13. I believe that is the same Vivian ebook.

A couple of other sources lead me to believe either Vivian is not complete, possibly only listing sons that stayed in England, or that children of those listed by Vivian are the ones that ended up in Barbados and Virginia with their education, money, plantations, and slaves. It could be that they were not mentioned because they were slave owners and at the time of these writings owning slaves was definitely not admired by many.

One case for Arthur having more sons than Vivian lists and a Champernowne presence in America was Edwards' "Life of Ralegh", which is referenced as the source for the quote below from page 74 of Tuttle's "Capt. Francis Champernowne" in reference to Arthur Champernowne:

"The losses of his father and grandfather in the religious wars of France had diminished his patrimony to some extent; and this circumstance probably directed his energies into fields of enterprise calculated to restore the ancient opulence of his house, and to provide a home in the New World for some of his many sons. To commerce and to plantations in America was an easy transition"

My key takeaways were many sons in the new world and plantations in America. Those appear to have carried on with the Chapman name, not Champernowne. Chapman plantations were scattered over Barbados and Virginia. When my John Chapman, a Virginia attorney and planter, died in 1743, he left a plantation to his wife and a plantation to each of his three sons, including my William.

Also, keep in mind is that Sir Arthur was just one of many Champernownes alive in 1560 and producing little Champernownes. Any of them could be the ancestors.

Some day yDNA will definitively answer the question as to whether those 1600's Chapman plantation owners were Champernownes before they crossed the ocean to establish themselves. All I know for sure is that my yDNA haplotype is IM-253, which is the Norman blood line through the Vikings. If any male with the Champernowne blood line is curious whether they are actually descended from Vikings, please participate in a yDNA test. This is passed only male to male, so if a male adoption or spousal infidelity breaks the male blood line, it will show skewed results.

11/24/2016 at 1:26 PM

Vivian is definitely not complete or perfect, though he is remarkably good. I don't think there is any conscious or unconscious attempt to omit migrants to America (you will find the brothers John and Leonard Yeo, who seem to have ended up in Virginia, or the founder of the Barbados Walronds, for example).It is just that the documents in England often didn't mention where they had gone.

I still think that the Chapman in Burke is more likely than a change of surname. Families in Virginia were proud of their gentry origins.


11/24/2016 at 5:10 PM


Thanks again for the input.

Were there any Chapmans in England that were Norman or was Champernon the only Norman's with a name similar to Chapman? The Norman bloodline does not exist in my fellow Chapmans in the Chapman DNA study. The other American Chapmans trace back to the known English Chapman families and all have Anglo Saxon yDNA. My yDNA is from the Norman bloodline, which is rare. My John Chapman who died in 1743 married this man's granddaughter. Her dad was born at Bremo Plantation. John must have more than just wealth going for him to marry into this family. Obviously, I am descended from Richard Cocke through John's wife.

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